New Delhi: A meeting of the Tihar Jail’s sentence review board, which was scheduled for Tuesday to decide on the release of some prisoners, including model Jessica Lal murder convict Manu Sharma, has been postponed.
An official, who is a member of the sentence review board, said the meeting had to be postponed as home minister Satyendra Jain did not give his consent.
A Delhi government spokesperson claimed that there wasn’t any meeting scheduled for Tuesday as the minister had not given his consent in the first place. The sentence review board is a statutory body which has a judge, Delhi home minister, law secretary, and the home secretary among its members. The board was to consider Manu Sharma’s release.
Last month, Jessica Lall’s sister, Sabrina Lall, wrote a letter to the Tihar Jail authorities saying that she had no objection to his release.
A government source, however, said, “The letter of a private individual has no legal sanctity.”
Manu Sharma, son of former Union minister Venod Sharma, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the high court in December 2006 for killing Jessica Lall in 1999. The trial court had acquitted him. However, the Delhi high court reversed the verdict and the Supreme Court upheld the life sentence in April 2010.
Jessica Lall, who was tending a bar at the Tamarind Court restaurant — owned by socialite Bina Ramani — at the Qutub Colonnade in South Delhi’s Mehrauli area was gunned down by Sharma on April 30, 1999, after she refused to serve him alcohol.